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Local History Books by Ken Rickwood

Out Now

Colchester’s Shrub End 

Do you know the origin of the name Shrub End? Why is Dugard Avenue so named, what is Gosbecks, and what prompted Prettygate to be so called. Questions such as these are answered in Ken Rickwood’s new book Colchester’s Shrub End: A history of a manor, village and parish. 

     Ken Rickwood, a Shrub End resident since 1966, has written this well researched book bringing together historical facts, the farms that once occupied these lands, developments including the housing estates and roads of the 1950s and 1960s, and the businesses and industries that emerged and prospered – bringing the full story of this once isolated area next to its larger neighbour of Colchester up to date - to the Shrub End we know today. 

     Anyone living in this part of the city of Colchester will find this book a fascinating read, and might even find their road or even a house they know mentioned. There is a full list of Shrub End street names and a useful Index to find your way about.

     With 62 black & white, and 180 colour illustrations, and numerous maps spread over 250 pages, this is local history at its very best written by an accomplished author. 


£18 inc P&P

roman river.jpg

Roman River

 Ken Rickwood has been exploring Roman River for over fifty years. During this time he has amassed a wealth of facts and fancies about the river. Here he conveys a varied selection of these, which are presented within a series of walks, arranged parish by parish as he journeys along the valley.

     Beginning at the tidal estuary between East Donyland and Fingringhoe he travels upstream through Langenhoe and the lost parish of Berechurch. Here, Roman River is joined by its main tributary of Layer Brook. 

     Passing through Birch, which contributes another tributary, Birch Brook, we come to Stanway and the site of Camulodunum. 

     Roman River continues through Copford, Marks Tey and Aldham to Great Tey, which hides the source of this intriguing twelve-mile river.

     Ken has walked the length of this secret river, and in this book he explores with enthusiasm all the nooks and crannies as it winds its way round Colchester and out into the countryside. 

 228 illustrations of, 189 are in colour, and 242 pages


£12.50  Inc UK P&P

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The Essex river Blackwater rises in the  northwest parish of Wimbish near Saffron Walden. The river flows for 34 miles through picturesque villages including Great Bardfield and Finchingfield. It passes by the historic towns of Bocking, Coggeshall and Witham to enter the largest of all Essex estuaries at Heybridge near Maldon. 


Ken Rickwood has walked the length of this interesting river from source to estuary. He has recorded his journey in words and pictures parish by parish as he followed the course of this river through history and across his home county.



210 pages A5 softback, 248 illustrations 

ISBN    978-1-9993672-6-8

the colne river essex colchester

The Colne by Boat, Bike and Boot

Ken Rickwood explores the Colne River which flows into the sea at Brighlingsea in Essex, by ferry boat, bicycle, rowing and walking, passing through Wivenhoe, Colchester, Chappel, Halstead, Castle Hedingham, Yeldham and beyond. 

The book consists of 384 pages accompanied with 393 illustrations. ISBN 978-0-9558271-6-7 

£17.50 inc UK P&P

£12 Inc UK P&P

river stour suffolk east anglia

Stour Odyssey

Ken Rickwood explores the upper part of the Stour River which slices into East Anglia separating Essex and Suffolk. He begins at Brantham near Manningtree and rows through delightful countryside passing villages and towns on his way to Kedington, finding the source of the river in fields in Cambridgeshire.

This 280 page book is illustrated with 317 black and white photographs and drawings. ISBN 978-0-9558271-4-3

£11.50 inc UK P&P

History of street lights in colchester essex

Lighting up Colchester

This book traces the development of Colchester public street lighting from its beginning in 1811 to the start of the 21st century. During this period many methods were devised for producing light from oil, gas and electricity.

Colchester was often one of the first towns to adopt new technologies that are described and copiously illustrated in this fascinating book.


£7.99 inc UK P&P


103 pages

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